UPDATE: Boy is my face red. Sound was fine the whole time. While I was moving the computer I unplugged the speakers. When I plugged them back in, I plugged in the wrong set of speakers. I recently got a new set of speakers (thanks Mom) and the old ones were still nearby and unplugged, and the cord looks exactly like the one from the new set… and I plugged in the old set. Which were not plugged into the power outlet. So sound was working perfectly and was being piped to inert speakers. As for the wireless, I’m going to theorize that the connection was poor cause it was too far away. It got bad when I moved the base station significantly far away. It’s wired now and I’m not worrying about it.
Overall, I retract my frustration about Linux sound. This had nothing to do with Linux, it was just me being a dork. Sound in the 2.6 kernels seems pretty smooth. I must apologize to Linux, and thank my anonymous commenter for keeping the faith.
I hate Linux sound. It’s a gigantic mess.
Mysteriously, the sound on my Ubuntu system started working a while back.
Mysteriously, it doesn’t work now.
I have no idea how to begin to debug it.
I don’t have that kind of time in my life.
Maybe I should try the newer, more bleeding edge version of Ubuntu. I dunno.
I just don’t know.
UPDATE: I know it would be a bit much to ask, but my old USB external CDR/W doesn’t seem to work either. All the unix cd burning utilities still depend on the hideously archaic “pretend any CD burner is a SCSI device” technique, and apparently Ubuntu isn’t hip to that. I know it was asking a lot to want my old external USB CDR/W to work, but… it would have been nice.
UPDATE: did I mention that wireless connectivity using ndiswrapper periodically flakes out too? Just plain doesn’t work sometimes, even though it reports having a good signal? Disappointing. Disappointing.
A lot of things *do* work on it, but the networking is a real problem, the sound is really annoying, and the usb burner — well, that’s just a minor disappointment. It’s got really pretty screensavers though.